Happy Friday the 13th - The Many Guises of Jason Voorhees
Friday the 13th – Part III (1982)
Picking up exactly where Friday 2 ended, it takes a smarter man than I to figure out what the hell happened here: not only does Jason sprout several inches, but he apparently shaved off his hair – perhaps in an effort to elude the authorities (fooling them into thinking those counselors were killed by that other deformed mongoloid, perhaps?) and decided that his choice overalls were suddenly passé.
It’s why he stops off at the local convenient store, lifting some new pants and a shirt (and why do they fit him? Harold wasn’t exactly his body type) before sulking off to Higgins Haven (just in time to greet a few new arrivals who apparently hadn’t heard about the bloodbath across the lake) where he eventually lands his signature mask. While there was plenty to love about the Country Bumpkin, this is a much more imposing look for Mr. Voorhees. One that’s heightened by the film’s unmasking, which gives us this:
In the grand scheme of Jasons, this is among the creepiest. He’s always grinning - like he’s absolutely delighted to be terrorizing our already mentally fragile heroine – and there’s real glee in his eye when he kills. Jason was angrier elsewhere, perhaps scarier elsewhere as well, but there has never been another performance as evil as this! Kudos to Richard Brooker for pulling it off and leaving a lasting mark.
Friday the 13th – The Final Chapter (1984)
After the drastic disregard in continuity between parts 2 and 3, it was nice that Joe Zito’s The Final Chapter could be bothered to maintain stricter continuity with the previous film. In fact Tom Savini’s work on Friday 4 ranks among his best, with a truly frightening Jason design that took everything that came before and ramped it up.
Before talking about the face, let’s look at the mask: battered, bruised, damaged, awesome. The center red chevron is fading, the bloodied axe wound from part 3 looks messy and painful. Best of all? Those thick, long and nasty fingernails. No wonder he’s able to rip Peter Barton’s face off with relative ease … his nails are so disgusting that Coffin Joe might even be appalled. And that’s nothing when compared to the series’ greatest unmasking sequence:
It’s the stuff of nightmares. Warped flesh, nasty teeth (complete with a fang or two, unpictured), and another sardonic grin that tells us more about the character than all of the scripts combined. Jason’s a man on a mission. He loves killing and won’t be stopped. And that makes him absolutely terrifying.